News

Remembering Nick Micozzie

July 30, 2020

This week, we note with sadness the passing of former state Rep. Nicholas Micozzie, 89, after suffering a fall the previous week.

Nick, of Delaware County, served in the House from 1979 until his retirement in 2014. He will be remembered mostly as the longtime Republican chair of the House Insurance Committee, but he played a major role in advancing the legislation that became Act 89 of 2013, the transportation funding measure.

Nick took on the chairmanship of the Transportation Committee following the death of Dick Hess in September, 2013. Many wondered why he would leave the relatively comfortable job as Insurance chair and take on the difficult and controversial challenge of transportation funding.

In keeping with his longtime public policy philosophy, he explained that he believed it was “the right thing to do.” He shepherded the measure through the House, and two months later, Act 89 became law.

We at PHIA and throughout Pennsylvania transportation circles send our deep condolences to Nick’s family and friends. To read more about his professional and personal life, follow this link to the DelCo Times.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 30

July 27, 2020

Reading Area Transportation Study group approves $274.8 million four-year transportation plan

The Reading Area Transportation Study group unanimously approved a $274.8 million four-year transportation improvement plan, but there is much uncertainty about how the coronavirus pandemic will affect it.

PennDOT extends expiration dates for Pennsylvania driver’s licenses, ID cards and learner’s permits

Expiration dates for Pennsylvania driver licenses, identification cards and learner’s permits are being extended again, this time until Aug. 31, PennDOT said Friday.

With e-bikes becoming more popular, Pa. lawmakers want to regulate where you can ride them

A bill being considered by Pennsylvania’s House Transportation Committee seeks to update the state’s vehicle code to regulate these so-called e-bikes and determine where they can operate.

Pa. Turnpike raising tolls again in 2021; those without E-ZPass will pay much more

Those driving on the Pennsylvania Turnpike should expect to pay more next year, and those without E-ZPass could see a significant increase in their tolls.

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 29

July 21, 2020

Pa., 14 other states set goals to jump-start transition to electric trucks

A coalition of states is following California’s lead in setting goals to jump-start a transition to electric-powered trucks, vans and buses in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality for communities choked by diesel fumes.

Governor Wolf announces investments in 27 multimodal projects

Governor Tom Wolf announced that 27 highway, bridge, transit, and bike and pedestrian projects in 23 counties were selected for $30.2 million in funding through the Multimodal Transportation Fund.

$451M Lehigh Valley transportation plan heads to PennDOT, the feds

Local officials have signed off on a $451 million transportation plan for Lehigh Valley roads and bridges over the next four years, without the Route 22 widening project as planned.

House OKs bill to honor Geist

Legislation to honor former state Rep. Richard A. Geist was approved by the House, said state Rep. Lou Schmitt, R-Blair, the author of the bill. “Rick” Geist was an Altoona native and a former Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 79th District who was first elected in 1978. He represented Altoona in the state House of Representatives from 1979 to 2012.

Unity museum program will provide trip through Pa. highway history

The evolution of Pennsylvania’s road system will be discussed by Jeff Kitsko July 27 at the Lincoln Highway Experience transportation museum in Unity.

Long-delayed Lehigh Valley bridge projects nearing completion

Two Lehigh Valley bridges — the final projects in a statewide bridge replacement project — should finally be completed in early August after years of delays.

 

News

House passes legislation to honor Rick Geist

July 17, 2020

The Pennsylvania House has passed and sent to the Senate a bill that would honor a longtime House Transportation Committee chair, the late Rick Geist.

Sponsored by Rep. Lou Schmitt (R-Blair), the bill would dedicate the 17th Street bridge over Interstate 99 in Logan Township as the Honorable Richard A. Geist Memorial Bridge. Representative Schmitt occupies the 79th District seat formerly held by Chairman Geist.

First elected in 1978, Rick served 17 terms in the House and was Transportation chair for nearly two decades. He was the longest-serving majority chair of that committee in House history. In 2011, he was named PHIA Advocate of the year. In August 2019, he died from a heart attack at age 74 while on vacation in Russia.

“Rick Geist was a tireless advocate for transportation,” said PHIA Managing Director Jason Wagner. “He was very well regarded among those in the construction industry, dozens of whom considered him not just an industry supporter, but a friend. He would appreciate being honored in this way.”

 

PHIA NEWS DIGEST

PHIA News Digest – Vol. 5, No. 28

July 13, 2020

PennDOT ironing out details for southern section of thruway project

PennDOT continues working on engineering design details and is developing a noise impact report for the southern section of the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway project.

PennDOT: All CSVT work still on schedule after COVID stoppage

Despite about two months of its COVID-19 stoppage, PennDOT officials say work on the CSVT project is anticipated to remain on schedule.

Erie drivers might be warming to roundabouts

Not a lot of people completed and returned questionnaires on Pennsylvania Department of Transportation plans to improve Erie’s Bayfront Parkway. But a surprising percentage of those who did support plans for roundabouts at Holland Street and Sassafras Street Extension and even prefer a roundabout at State Street, where PennDOT instead plans to control traffic with a traditional signal at a new intersection raised above the parkway.